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Reconfiguring SlaveryWest African Trajectories$
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Benedetta Rossi

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846311994

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315640

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Slavery and Politics: Stigma, Decentralisation and Political Representation in Niger and Benin

Slavery and Politics: Stigma, Decentralisation and Political Representation in Niger and Benin

Chapter:
(p.152) 8 Slavery and Politics: Stigma, Decentralisation and Political Representation in Niger and Benin
Source:
Reconfiguring Slavery
Author(s):

Eric Komlavi Hahonou

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846311994.003.0008

Drawing on the results of a comparative study conducted between 2002 and 2007, this chapter examines the contemporary political mobilisation of people of slave status in Niger and Benin. It focuses on the acquisition of a political voice on the part of slave descendants in the context of decentralisation and the ability of the Songhay aristocracy to maintain political control over its dependents. The chapter also considers how slave descendants in Tuareg and Fulani societies have assumed the direction of municipal power. It explores ‘slave’ politics in Niger and Benin and looks at the social, economic, and political elements that play a role in the political representation of slave descendants. Finally, the chapter discusses the social stigma attached to slave descent in Niger and Benin, as shown in the division of labour.

Keywords:   Niger, Benin, political mobilisation, decentralisation, slave descendants, aristocracy, Songhay, slave politics, social stigma, political representation

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